Breaking News Bar
updated: 1/22/2013 2:00 PM

Staycations let you get away -- without going away

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • A new kids clubroom at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago has been popular with families.

      A new kids clubroom at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago has been popular with families.

  • Expect to see lots of jerseys in the lobby of the Chicago Mart Plaza, which is running a promotion this winter for sports fans.

      Expect to see lots of jerseys in the lobby of the Chicago Mart Plaza, which is running a promotion this winter for sports fans.

  • The InterContinental's Michael Jordan Steakcation includes a $100 credit at Michael Jordan's Steak House.

      The InterContinental's Michael Jordan Steakcation includes a $100 credit at Michael Jordan's Steak House.

  • Pint-size guests of Chicago's Palmer House Hilton can enjoy the benefits of the historic hotel's Peacock Club. Kids receive gifts both at check-in and waiting in their room.

      Pint-size guests of Chicago's Palmer House Hilton can enjoy the benefits of the historic hotel's Peacock Club. Kids receive gifts both at check-in and waiting in their room.

  • The InterContinental's Michael Jordan Steakcation includes a $100 credit at Michael Jordan's Steak House.

      The InterContinental's Michael Jordan Steakcation includes a $100 credit at Michael Jordan's Steak House.

  • Stay on the Mag Mile at the InterContinental Chicago and enjoy the chance to dine nearby.

      Stay on the Mag Mile at the InterContinental Chicago and enjoy the chance to dine nearby.

  • Enjoy wine tastings during a Wine Ambassador Weekend package at the JW Marriott Chicago.

      Enjoy wine tastings during a Wine Ambassador Weekend package at the JW Marriott Chicago.

 
By Samantha Nelson
Daily Herald Correspondent

Editor's note:
The article listed the wrong price information for the ACME Hotel Company. The hotel is offering a two-night package for $229 per night.


If you're watching your budget, don't like the hassle of taking a big trip or don't have time to get away for long, you can still get a break from cabin fever this winter. With fewer out-of-town guests booking rooms, Chicago hotels often appeal to locals during the off season with special packages and amenities perfect for an intimate getaway or a trip for the whole family. So if you're looking for a weekend away, stay local and explore what the city has to offer.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

ACME Hotel Company

Where: 15 E. Ohio St., (312) 894-0800, acmehotelcompany.com

Price: Starting at $229 per night

ACME Hotel Company opened in April with the goal of appealing to guests from Generation X and Y looking for something a bit hipper. The "Home Alone" Holiday Package, which runs through March 10, aims to help that audience relive their fond memories of the Macaulay Culkin film. Guests will get a shaving kit from The Art of Shaving, pizza delivery from Giordano's, skate rental at the Millennium Park Ice Skating Rink and a $50 gift card for The Shops at North Bridge.

Chicago Mart Plaza

Where: 350 W. Mart Center, (312) 836-5000, martplaza.com

Price: Starting at $155 for one night

Located near the United Center, the hotel typically does a special for hockey season, but with this year's strike they decided to try out a Basketball Fan Package through April 17, which includes a $50 credit to use in the on-site Italiasia restaurant and a 15 percent off coupon so you can pick up some memorabilia before the game at Clark Street Sports. France Langan, director of sales and marketing, said the deal has proved popular with families who like to take advantage of the indoor pool, easy access to public transportation, and Italiasia's mix of affordable and kid-friendly food like pizzas and hamburgers and finer fare like lobster risotto. Many of the guests come from Illinois, though the hotel brings in plenty of fans from Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin when their teams are in Chicago.

"You see a lot of visiting jerseys in the lobby," Langan said.

Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

Where: 120 E. Delaware Place, (312) 280-8800, fourseasons.com/chicagofs

Since opening in November, the Kids for All Snow Season clubroom has proved hugely popular with families.

"The idea was inspired by the notion of having a staycation environment where you could have something to do with your children in the building so on a cold, blustery Chicago day you could have fun without going outdoors," said chief concierge Kristen Klus.

Open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., the converted boardroom is packed with things to keep kids happy including a kitchen play set, a movie area showing kid-friendly films and TV shows, Wii and PlayStation video game systems, foosball and air hockey tables, board games, a craft table, a bin filled with Legos and a costume box where kids can dress up as everything from Strawberry Shortcake to Darth Vader. When the weather is cold, you can also swim in the indoor pool and visit the attached shopping center.

"You literally could come for a weekend and not leave the building," Klus said.

InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile

Where: 505 N. Michigan Ave., (312) 944-4100, icchicagohotel.com

Price: Starting at $259 for one night

Foodies will appreciate The Michael Jordan Steakcation, which lets guests try three dining spots during their stay.

"A lot of couples come in for the weekend to enjoy the city," said Dan Egan, director of sales and marketing. "This is a way to see what the hotel has to offer."

The package includes a $100 credit at Michael Jordan's Steak House, breakfast for two at The Continental and wine, cheese and chocolate at ENO, where you can warm up by the wine bar's new fireplace. In addition to some tasty memories, you'll also take home a bottle of Michael Jordan's BBQ Sauce.

JW Marriott Chicago

Where: 151 W. Adams St., (312) 660-8200, jwmarriottchicago.com

Price: Starting at $618 for two nights

If you're not traveling to wine country, the Wine Ambassador Weekend is the next best thing. Available through March 1, the weekend package starts with a tasting of three wines paired with six mini-portions of dishes waiting for guests in their room on a mat that tells the story of the wines. Your education continues with a progressive tasting with food pairings in the hotel's lounge led by their chief wine ambassador.

"It's a little bit more instructional," said chef Michael Reich. "We talk you through it. We taste it. We take notes about it."

The next day, guests take a test to become certified wine ambassadors, made much more fun than your typical exam by more food and wine. Then, there's a four-course dinner at the Florentine with wine pairings from the resident sommelier.

Palmer House Hilton

Where: 17 E. Monroe St., (312) 726-7500, palmerhousehiltonhotel.com

The historic hotel began appealing to guests with kids with the introduction of The Peacock Club this summer. Kids receive a backpack at check-in with a coloring book and crayons, a travel journal and an underwater camera, with a rubber duck, dinosaurs that grow in water, a stuffed peacock and a kid-sized bathrobe and slippers waiting in the room. They can watch a movie in the pool during Friday Splash Screenings and order from a kids menu at Lockwood.

All ages can come along for the History is Hott presentation and tour, which explores the beginnings of Chicago, the lives of the hotel's founders and the guests that have stayed there over the decades. Priced at $55, it includes a three-course lunch and wine at Lockwood.

"It's a very comprehensive but fun look at history," said Ken Price, the hotel's resident historian.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here